International Centre for
Sports Studies

Avenue DuPeyrou 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Mon. 19 March 2018

Round table: "Football: An instrument in the fight against racism?"

In an attempt to answer this question of fundamental importance for contemporary football, an exceptional round table will be organized by the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES), in collaboration with the Department of Multicultural Cohesion and the Forum ‘All different all equal’. This event is part of the Neuchâtel Action Week against Racism, which runs from 18th to 30th March 2018.

Insults, racist songs, racist chanting, banana throwing, anti-Semitic banners; The list of regularly seen violence, especially against certain footballers, is, unfortunately, endless. In any case, it clearly demonstrates how the phenomenon of racism in football is not new and, despite the many efforts to combat it, still remains present in and around stadiums.

This round table aims to better understand the causes of this phenomenon and to consider solutions to combat it through the expertise and many experiences of the event speakers. They will discuss the actions and good practices implemented by various sports organizations to stop this scourge on modern football. The speakers will demonstrate, through concrete examples, how football can be a powerful and effective instrument in the fight against racism. The evening will then end with a special question and answer session between the audience and invited guest speakers.

Those who will be present include: Christian Karembeu (former French international footballer, 1998 World Cup winner and UEFA ambassador), Guillaume Hoarau (French international footballer, BSC Young Boys Switzerland), Patrick Gasser (Head of Football and Social Responsibility at UEFA), Raffaele Poli (Head of the CIES Football Observatory) and Thomas Busset (Scientific Collaborator at CIES).

Date: 22 March 2018, from 6:30pm - 8:15pm, followed by an aperitif.

Venue: Aula des Jeunes-Rives, Espace Louis-Agassiz 1, 2000 Neuchâtel.

Free Admission

For more information, please contact: [email protected] or telephone: 032 718 39 00

Christian Karembeu is a former French international footballer and World Cup winner. He was born on 3rd December 1970 in Lifou, New Caledonia. From 1990 - 1995 he played for his training club, FC Nantes. Here, he would win the French title in 1995. From 1995-1997, he played for Sampdoria of Genoa, before moving in 1997 to Real Madrid, where he won the Champions League the following year. In 1998, Karembeu won the World Cup with the French Team, and then the UEFA European Championship in 2000 (Euro 2000). Following the announcement of his retirement, the former mid-fielder has remained active in the area of sport. Today, he is an ambassador for the UEFA Programme ‘Captains of Change’ which aims to promote and develop the diversity of football managers in Europe.

Guillaume Hoarau is a French international footballer. He currently plays as a striker for BSC Young Boys, for whom he has a contract until June 2020. Before his arrival in Switzerland in 2014, the native of Réunion Island previously played for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and also in China. A prolific scorer blessed with a positive attitude, Guillaume Hoarau has fast become one of the biggest figures in the Swiss Football Championship.  

Patrick Gasser joined UEFA in 1999 where he is today Head of Football and Social Responsibility. His 13 years’ experience with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) allows him to address Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues with which football is confronted and how to develop strategies to face them. However, his vision of CSR goes well beyond a simple marketing tool. He considers that as a group resource, the methods and strategies of UEFA’s functioning can make European football more and more socially responsible, especially from the perspective of sustainable development and the improvement of life conditions for future generations.

Raffaele Poli is responsible for the Research Group of the Football Observatory within the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES). A Doctor in Human Sciences, he teaches on the “Contemporary policy issues in sports” course in the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences at the University of Neuchâtel. A Member of the Panathlon-Club Neuchâtel and with a strong passion for football, Raffaele Poli is the author of a large number of scientific publications on the social and economic role of the sport.

Thomas Busset is a Historian and a Scientific Collaborator at CIES since 2004.  He has worked as an Assistant and Scientific Collaborator in several research and tertiary training institutions in Switzerland. Parallel to a varied research thematic in which he has had the opportunity to be interested in (amongst others: urban sociability – local politics, participative approaches, regional politics, socio-cultural animation), he has developed sports-specific areas of expertise. In particular, these include hooliganism and violent supporterism, integration through football, as well as the history of winter sports.

We very much look forward to welcoming you to this special event.

To download the flyer of the event, please click here.

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